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House of Commons Finds No Evidence of Tampering In Climate E-mails 650

Posted by timothy
from the this-won't-change-your-mind dept.
dwguenther writes "The first of several British investigations into the e-mails leaked from one of the world's leading climate research centers has largely vindicated the scientists involved. The House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee said Wednesday that they'd seen no evidence to support charges that the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit ... had tampered with data or perverted the peer review process to exaggerate the threat of global warming." According to the article, the head of committee which produced the report "said the lawmakers had been in a rush to publish something before Britain's next national election, which is widely expected in just over a month's time"; two further inquiries are to examine the issue more closely. The "e-mails appeared to show scientists berating skeptics in sometimes intensely personal attacks, discussing ways to shield their data from public records laws, and discussing ways to keep skeptics' research out of peer-reviewed journals," but the committee concluded that East Anglia researcher Phil Jones was not part of a conspiracy to hide evidence that weakens the case for global warming.
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House of Commons Finds No Evidence of Tampering In Climate E-mails

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  • Warming is not bad (Score:1, Insightful)

    by pubwvj (1045960) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:35PM (#31691940)

    But, fact remains that the Earth has been warmer and the Earth has been cooler. It WILL change. We may not like that but it is a fact. I would MUCH more prefer global warming than global cooling. You want a disaster? Try an ice age! Even a mini-ice age like happened in the 1800's and other centuries causing mass starvation and migration.

  • by XanC (644172) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:36PM (#31691946)

    Well if the House of Commons can't find it, it doesn't exist!

  • Show me the data (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ATestR (1060586) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:43PM (#31692064) Homepage

    The problem with the whole Global Warming panic was not that these scientists were distorting the data. The real issue was that they didn't allow public scrutiny of the information. If another group of scientists can't reproduce these results, that the results are not science. Let other climate scientists have the raw data, and we'll see what they say. If you can get a whole bunch of people reproduce the same conclusion, then the study can be taken as credible. Until then, I reserve judgement.

  • by dfenstrate (202098) <dfenstrate.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:44PM (#31692084)

    Global warming is used as a justification to tax (carbon taxes) and control (cap and trade, various environmental regulations.).

    There's nothing a government body wants more than money and control. Ergo, it's in the interests of the House of Commons to say 'yep, everything's legit here, and because it is, we're taking more of your money and restricting your lives & business even more. Gotta save the earth, ya know. It's for your own good.'

    (The astute reader can guess my position on the matter of anthropogenic global warming, but the above statement is independent of the scientific truth of the matter.)

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:44PM (#31692088)
    Just because you are correct doesn't mean you should lower yourself to using ad hominem name-calling. Rise above, my friend.
  • Re:Don't worry (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:45PM (#31692102)

    The Deniers never really cared about silly things like evidence, or the opinions of pretty much every expert in the field.

    Likewise, the Believers never really cared about a silly thing like evidence but instead settled for the opinions of pretty much every expert in the field.

  • by pastafazou (648001) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:48PM (#31692156)
    what I find amazing is that anyone can actually believe that one wing, left or right, is telling the truth and the other is lying. Newsflash for you busy gary, POLITICIANS ARE LIARS! Nothing they say can be believed!
  • Re:Don't worry (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Fast Thick Pants (1081517) <fastthickpants AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:49PM (#31692180)
    Modpoints here, not a denier but I'm still tempted. Painting all skeptics with the same piss-soaked brush doesn't help, it just makes YOU look like a fanatic.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:50PM (#31692206)

    Exactly. If only true believers are allowed to see your data, then you are not doing science.

  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:51PM (#31692214)

    You want disaster? Try a 2 degree C warming across all our most important foodbelts! Even a minor, persistent decline in ecological carrying capacity will cause serious production issues.

    You want disaster? Try halving the amount of precipitation (rain and snow) available to a few dozen major watersheds across the globe. Even a minor, persistent decline will lead to all kinds of resource conflicts, quite possibly even the shooting kind.

    Bottom line? When you build a complex, resource-intensive society of ~7 billion people, and run that society really close to the margins of earth's carrying capacity (as we are today), then arbitrarily messing around with a bunch of climate parameters is a stupid idea. It might work out okay, or it might not.

  • by spleen_blender (949762) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:52PM (#31692224)
    Is is accurate to say driving a car is used as a justification to tax (road maintenance) and control (traffic laws, requirement to own insurance)?
  • by Mindcontrolled (1388007) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:52PM (#31692238)
    While rising one level above the simplemindedness of the left-vs-right mindset, you have not reached enlightenment, young padawan. There are no easy answers. "The left is correct", "The right is correct" - those are simple answers and therefore in all probability wrong. "All politicians are liars" - this is also a simple answer - and therefore in all probability wrong. The habit of judging statements not on their merit, but on their source is what is destroying political discourse, young grasshopper. No go and meditate. BUT DO IT OFF MY LAWN!!!
  • by BitZtream (692029) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:53PM (#31692246)

    Let me give you a hint.

    The instant you show you're only concerned with your political party being 'right' ... thats the instant everyone with a clue just stops bothering with what you said and moves on.

    No one really gives a shit what political fanboys think, you included. Its not about democrat or republic, its not about left or right, its about doing the right thing, which apparently to you means whatever democrats are ranting for this month.

    You are just as retarded as the republican ranters.

    Both groups are ignorant fucks who don't deserve the right to vote.

    Its not a fucking football game. Stop fucking ranting and cheering for your political party, open your fucking eyes and vote for the right person for the job, not because they are wearing red or blue this week.

  • by techno-vampire (666512) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:54PM (#31692260) Homepage
    The rational response to the possibility of severe consequences like those would be to focus our research on those consequences and on possibilities to adapt to them.

    No. The rational response would be to find out what's actually happening instead of wreaking our economy trying to avoid problems we don't even know exist. Just because you can imagine a whole bunch of doom-and-gloom scenarios doesn't mean that they're possible, you know.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:54PM (#31692262) Journal

    that the bullshit noise that fox news and deniers spread around got quashed by some actual investigation.

    Certainly is annoying although I'm sympathetic. A hundred gabillion trillion dollars and the future of the human race are at stake here. So a lot of people's gut reaction is "not possible" for the sake of not having to deal with such moral predicaments. I'm American. I buy crap made in China. I know how we like to sweep moral predicaments under the rug instead of facing them head on.

    Luckily (as mentioned in the article) this whole media charade may result in something positive:

    The committee said that climate scientists had to be much more open in future — for example by publishing all their data, including raw data and the software programs used to interpret them, to the Internet. Willis said there was far too much money at stake not to be completely transparent. "Governments across the world are spending trillions of pounds, or trillions of dollars, on mitigating climate change. The science has got to be irreproachable," he said.

    So, this is the part where I predict the future. They're going to open up all the data by force or by free will and then all the code slowly after. A lot of people are going to become armchair statisticians (good thing) and draw their own conclusions by manipulating the data in bizarre ways (bad thing). Then a decade down the road it'll come to light that the climate is very probably changing too fast for it to be a naturally occurring cycle. And you'll win a few more people over to accept the idea that we need to slowly adapt to the new problem. But you're still going to have something like half your opposition claiming the data itself is now flawed in how it was collected. If it's not one thing, they'll drum up another. Why? Because a hundred gabillion trillion dollars and the future of the human race are at stake here and they don't want to face up to either. So they'll take the convenient route and continue to hold on by their fingertips to whatever they can to justify a splurging lifestyle.

    That's a prediction on my part, not necessarily 100% true.

  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:56PM (#31692302)
    You think this is actually going to rest? What is actually going to happen is the same thing that has been happening all along: those with an interest in denying anthropogenic climate change will selectively quote those things that suit their purpose (the fact some evidence of impropriety was raised) while selectively ignoring those things that do not (the fact those improprieties were disproved).
  • by The End Of Days (1243248) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:56PM (#31692308)

    How does working to increase efficiency and reduce pollution wreck the economy? Last I saw, every technological advance drove our economy forward in ways no one even imagined beforehand.

    Seems to me that the common sense approach is to invest heavily in technology to fix the problem, not invest heavily in public relations aimed at extending the problem. That way, we all win no matter what the truth is.

  • by The End Of Days (1243248) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:00PM (#31692356)

    and identify through licensing.

    It's wonderful, all these little back doors the powerseekers keep finding.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:01PM (#31692386)

    Fucking Amen.

  • by KiwiCanuck (1075767) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:01PM (#31692388)
    You find some correlation with Climate Change, you get more funding to investigate. If you disprove something, you're done.
  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:03PM (#31692426) Journal

    Well if the House of Commons can't find it, it doesn't exist!

    "Lawmakers stressed that their report -- which was written after only a single day of oral testimony -- did not cover all the issues and would not be as in-depth as the two other inquiries into the e-mail scandal that are still pending."

    But still, the original hysteria and fingerpointing was based on a few e-mails out of 1,000+ distributed by an anonymous source. The lack of context, coupled with the public's general ignorance about science, provides a ready made tempest in a teapot.

    Let me put it another way: how many different investigations (and from whom) would be required to convince the doubters?

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Totenglocke (1291680) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:04PM (#31692438)
    Exactly. Especially in mediums that are only (or at least primarily) going to be read by educated people, there's no reason to prevent debate - the facts will speak for themselves.
  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:05PM (#31692458) Journal

    Climate change deniers do not make logical arguments, they shout talking points and appeal to emotion.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:05PM (#31692462) Journal

    RTFA, it does find that they had a keen interest in stonewalling critics.

    Right but there is a point at which any person just gives up on his critics. Whether it be one persistent critic or an internet full of critics, you just get sick of it and concentrate on what actually matters: your work. And then when this happens suddenly you're "stonewalling." Or "unable to defend your statements." I don't know all the details and I'm not going to get into my own anecdotal stories but at some point you just don't care what they think and you get tired of having to engage in rebuttals and 'discussions' if they are inane or offtrack.

    For what it's worth (not to defend this), the above phenomenon can also lead you to opt not to release your data because your critics can either pour over it to find more ammunition or use it for their own devices. Thankfully the House of Commons called for the release of all data and all source code and hopefully soon we'll be pointed into a better direction about who is the most correct in their analysis.

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:05PM (#31692466)
    I want the data actually used.. which means the data post-adjustment (because thats what climate scientists use) .. and then I want those adjustments explained and justified in detail, and the adjustments verified.. which means also having the data pre-adjustment.

    Until I have that, I cannot verify jack shit.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:08PM (#31692506)

    You missed the point. The deniers do not want to actually go out and get data. They want to point out it wasn't published in every paper on global warning. And even if it was published, they'll argue it wasn't complete enough, or people used mercury thermometers that probably were re-calibrated every 2 min. etc. etc. etc..

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=raw+historical+weather+station+data

    But don't worry, this will be modded as troll because it shows you can actually get *real* historical data this easily!

  • by wizardforce (1005805) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:10PM (#31692532) Journal

    Anybody who would question it is clearly off their nut.

    No... Informed skepticism is required in science, it is the ignorant, maligned and malicious screaming and wailing that is nutty. Unfortunately, the GP is right, very few AGW "skeptics" have any real idea of what the hell they're talking about.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:13PM (#31692572) Journal

    No, we believe because of the evidence. You believe despite all evidence. We start from theory and test it against reality, you start from fantasy and find data that fits. In science, the truth always wins out in the end. In science, if you can prove that everybody else is wrong and you are right, you will be the next Einstein and your name will go down in history forever. So, when all the experts agree, that's pretty good evidence that none of them could make a huge name for themselves by disagreeing. And with the HUGE amounts of money that corporate polluters are pouring into this debate, not only would anyone who proved climate change be famous, they would be very, very rich.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:13PM (#31692574) Journal

    Truth should be easy to defend. There's not much scientific integrity if you have to stifle descent.

    You'd think the truth that cigarettes cause cancer and emphysema would have been easy to defend too, but look how long the tobacco industry strung out that debate. They even went so far as to lie, under oath, in front of Congress.

    And climate change is infinitely more complicated than "smoking is bad for your health," while having much more money involved.

  • Re:quid pro quo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EnglishTim (9662) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:13PM (#31692578)

    That makes no sense. The House of Commons wouldn't get to charge him anyway. It's not a court; it's a legislative body.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:2, Insightful)

    by da cog (531643) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:14PM (#31692602)

    RTFA, it does find that they had a keen interest in stonewalling critics. So much for peer review, taking some criticism, and I dunno integrity?

    Truth should be easy to defend. There's not much scientific integrity if you have to stifle descent.

    When your critics make it clear through their words and actions that their goal is not so much to find the truth so much as to bring you and your research down, then it isn't surprising when you aren't exactly inclined to help them out in this process. It doesn't even matter if you have the truth on your side; people will be able to make you look bad by selectively picking parts of your results and making it seem like you completely screwed things up, even if you in fact did not.

    Besides, the critics already had all of the data that they needed to independently either reproduce or disprove the results, since most of the data was already published elsewhere and they were even pointed to where in response to their FOIA request; they were complaining because they did not receive *exact* data set that was used by the CRU since some of it was owned by another agency and couldn't be released, and they refused to work with anything less than the exact data set even though working with equivalent data sets that were publicly available would have been sufficient for the purpose of validating the results.

  • Jesus Christ... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:18PM (#31692670)

    When did the fucking denialists hijack slashdot? I thought most here were smarter than that, but even the moderators seem to have bought the Fox News bullshit hook, line and sinker. Anyone not on board with your insane moon landing-level conspiracy nonsense has been modded into oblivion.

    James Lovelock [slashdot.org] is right. As a species, we're too fucking stupid to do anything about a severe problem that is staring us in the face.

    Enough of the cargo cult science already, pick up a fucking science textbook and stop making idiotic arguments. Science is not decided on the basis of your fucking political football teams.

  • by Mindcontrolled (1388007) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:20PM (#31692690)
    And, even if that would be true, would that be the fault of the elected politicians or the fault of the electorate? And part of which group are you? *Sigh* Learn, they do not...
  • by khallow (566160) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:20PM (#31692702)

    You want disaster? Try a 2 degree C warming across all our most important foodbelts!

    Right. It's like you have no concept of what a disaster really is. Do you know what would happen in reality? a) crops that are a bit more heat tolerant would be grown. Maybe a bit more irrigation would need to be done. And new farmland, created by warming temperatures, would be opened up.

  • Re:Very Strange (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:21PM (#31692720)

    Thirty years is really only enough for very short term fluctuations, anyway. It's like measuring the changes in weather throughout a day vs throughout the week or month or year, or several years. It's about the shortest span you can go, and you should expect there to be a lot of variation both high and low.

    We are currently in the middle of a climate "summer" if you will, given a few thousand years (hopefully not less than that, but it won't matter anyway for anybody alive today) it will be climate "wintertime", which will suck royally.

    Small fluctuations over a short period of time won't have any affect on what will ultimately happen in the long run. The whole climate change debate depends heavily on how long your time-line is, because if you take a wide enough view the current trends are absolutely meaningless, one way or the other. If you take a short-term view, the current trends are absolutely frightening.

  • by feepness (543479) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:21PM (#31692722) Homepage

    How does working to increase efficiency and reduce pollution wreck the economy? Last I saw, every technological advance drove our economy forward in ways no one even imagined beforehand.

    Seems to me that the common sense approach is to invest heavily in technology to fix the problem, not invest heavily in public relations aimed at extending the problem. That way, we all win no matter what the truth is.

    It's hard to argue against efficiency standards. I for one won't and am very excited about replacing my current auto with an all-electric in 2014. Keep in mind the environmentalists were protecting us by fighting tooth and nail against the technological advances of nuclear power 30 years ago.

    But cap and trade, which is the current favored "solution", is just plain bad legislation that doesn't inspire efficiency, it just creates another market for Goldman Sachs and their ilk to game.

  • Re:Oh My God! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by presidenteloco (659168) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:22PM (#31692736)

    I know your tongue is planted firmly in cheek, but I did some research on the matter, and found that the fossil fuel industry, automobile industry, and wal-mart-like fossil-fuel-based mega-scale consumer goods distribution industry have many thousands of times more money at stake (~$10 trillion annually) on the outcome of this debate than do the scientists in question.

    Not to mention that the side denying anthropenic global warming is also the side whose proposition lets comfortable people, and wasteful, unsustainable industries off the hook, and lets them continue without changing anything about their behavior.

    The other side's proposition suggests or implies that change, some substantial change, is needed, and that is going to require effort and some shifting of those who are currently sitting in the musical chairs.

    I wonder which side is going to be more biased and vocal and strident in its bending of facts to suit its desired course of
    action or inaction?????

  • by khallow (566160) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:24PM (#31692778)

    How does working to increase efficiency and reduce pollution wreck the economy?

    The really simple answer is a) if it's not really more efficient, b) is not really pollution, or c) the approach taken is so stupid and expensive that any benefits are drowned in a sea of harm.

  • by The End Of Days (1243248) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:26PM (#31692816)

    I'm sorry, are you of the mistaken belief that the world owes you a living? Shit changes, learn to adapt or die. That's the reality. Holding the state steady so you can keep on keepin on forever isn't an option, no matter how badly you want it.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mindcontrolled (1388007) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:27PM (#31692834)
    Ignoring all arguments and data brought forth so far, then pointing at the null hypothesis and calling it a day is called skepticism these days? Guess we are indeed doomed.
  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:28PM (#31692852) Homepage Journal

    crops that are a bit more heat tolerant would be grown

    Just like that? The entire agricultural system that struggles to feed the more than 6 billion humans will just be tweaked a little bit and everything goes on just as before?

    And new farmland, created by warming temperatures, would be opened up.

    That's cold comfort to farmers that their land is now useless for growing crops, but if they could just sell their now-worthless land and buy up some new land 200 miles to the north (that now happens to be sitting underneath suburban housing) then it's all just a wee bump in the road.

    Heck, for that matter, we could probably just move the Earth a few thousand miles further from the Sun.

    So what's everybody so worked up about?

  • by pluther (647209) <pluther.usa@net> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:29PM (#31692864) Homepage

    The issue has become too much of a religion for the doubters to ever be convinced. (In many ways it has become intertwined with actual religion, as the Christian Right has taken up the banner to cease being good stewards of the Earth.)

    Even if the next two investigations by the House of Commons find nothing, all it will prove to most people who currently deny global warming is that the House of Commons can't be trusted to objectively evaluate the evidence. Just like the United Nations.

  • by Script Cat (832717) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:30PM (#31692884)

    You want disaster? Try a 2 fluctuation C warming or cooling across all our most important foodbelts! Even a minor, persistent decline or increase in ecological carrying capacity will cause serious production issues.

    You want disaster? Try halving or doubling the amount of precipitation (rain and snow) available to a few dozen major watersheds across the globe. Even a minor, persistent decline or increase will lead to all kinds of resource conflicts, quite possibly even the shooting kind like is happening now.

    Bottom line? When you build a complex, resource-intensive society of ~7 billion people, and run that society really close to the margins of earth's natural carrying capacity (as we are today), then arbitrarily messing around with a bunch of climate parameters is a stupid idea. It might work out okay, or it might not.

    I am so bold as to to say, the conclusions of this type of research is stretched beyond what can safely be predicted of a chaotic system.
    The more bold claims are used by power mongers to take more control of peoples lives.
    People ought to be able to look for themselves how far the data is being stretched.

  • by khallow (566160) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:32PM (#31692928)

    Just like that? The entire agricultural system that struggles to feed the more than 6 billion humans will just be tweaked a little bit and everything goes on just as before?

    Yes.

    That's cold comfort to farmers that their land is now useless for growing crops, but if they could just sell their now-worthless land and buy up some new land 200 miles to the north (that now happens to be sitting underneath suburban housing) then it's all just a wee bump in the road.

    That is just stupid. There's no magic border now or in the future where farmland becomes worthless due to temperature or need for water. Second, there's no heavily urbanized north to block the development of farmland. Third, if farmers' land really does become worthless for some reason, then yes, they can move north and buy some more land. It is a wee bump in the road.

  • Re:Very Strange (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cyberax (705495) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:36PM (#31692990)

    Uhm. That's what statistics 101 is all about.

  • What Bravery! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Maltheus (248271) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:37PM (#31693002)

    Wow, the government supports something that means more revenue for itself and more derivative trading schemes for their banker buddies? I would have expected the investigation to go the other way.

    I feel sorry for true AGW believers. If they're right, western governments and the IPCC sure seem to be doing their best to fuck it up lately. AGW may in fact be true, but it just looks like such a con job at this point that I can never be for upturning the economy over it. And of course, I'll take global warming over an (overdue) ice age any day, so I wouldn't recognize the urgency, even if it were true.

    Why not go back to fighting good old fashioned pollution? That's something everyone can get on board with. What about the disappearing honey bee and genetically modified foods? There are all sorts of environmental problems out there that have been ignored in favor of this (seemingly) manufactured issue.

  • Re:Very Strange (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:38PM (#31693010) Journal
    I'll tell you my problem with the science behind global warming.

    Usually when I want to understand something in a science field that I am not an expert in, I can ask a real expert to explain it. For example, I might ask, "how do we know dark matter exists?" I am not an astrophysicist, and don't know all the details, but they can explain it. If I want to understand something at a deeper level, say, "how does lensing work?" they can explain it deeper. The more I dig, the more obvious the answer becomes. In some fields, the answer is, "we think X because Y, but we don't know yet."

    Global Warming on the other hand is being sold as something that "we must fix now, or disaster will occur!" So you start digging deeper, and ask, "what disaster? will oceans rise dramatically?" and the answer is, well, not really. Are glaciers going to melt and ruin the water-sources in India? Well, upon further investigation, no. Are global rain patterns going to change? Well, people are willing to predict, but if you dig deeper you find that no one actually has a clue.

    So then you go to what we do know, that temperatures have risen .12C a decade and ask, how much of that is due to CO2. If you dig into, for example, the IPCC report, you get the answer is that most of it is probably caused by CO2 (and other GHG). OK, fair enough, how do we know? Dig deeper into the IPCC report and it's based on climate models. OK, and how do we know the climate models are reliable? The answer is we don't, and if you keep digging, you will find that they aren't.

    So now we have this system, where there are massive unknowns, and people are preaching it like it's gospel truth. And then when you get to that point, people start using the same argument that they use to show God exists, "What if we do nothing and we are wrong?" [wikipedia.org]. That is not science, that is insanity.

    I am in favor of developing alternative energy sources, and if electric cars are like the Tesla, I really want one. But let's be sane about it. All this focus on CO2 is distracting from real problems [wikipedia.org] in places like India where they actually have sulphur in the air, which is 100% known to cause problems; it's not just some theoretical issue. Let's focus on real problems, and deal with global warming when we know what the actual problem is.
  • by operagost (62405) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:40PM (#31693040) Homepage Journal
    Unions like it that way, though-- and they're the darling of the progressives.
  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:41PM (#31693048) Journal

    (...sound of cowardly assholes clicking the 'troll' mod button...)

    Hey that's okay, Mr. Denier, we know you don't know how to think for yourself. All you can do is destroy, attack and tear down what you fear. You can't actually add anything useful.

    I don't know why I bother, at this point, logical debate is impossible. It's entirely an emotional issue. People's self esteem and even their identity are tied up in the debate. The deniers hate and fear the people who claim global warming is real. They think of us as tyrants, coming to tell them what to do. We think of them as children, who won't take responsibility for the way they impact others; or also as tyrants, whose sole desire is to make more money, whatever the cost.

    It's at the point where I would rather go all Tiger Woods on their asses, "Bitch, Ima spit on you, slap your face, and call you a dirty whore and you're gonna sit there and take it because you like it," than try to have a rational debate. But the problem with that is, they DO like it. It justifies their fucking persecution complex. Yeah, Mr. Denier, you're a failure at life because the (snicker) the hippies (guffaw) the hippies and liberals kept you down. Hilarious.

  • by DarthVain (724186) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:41PM (#31693050)

    Not everyone disagrees on the claim because it is convenient to do so, many disagree for entirely reasonable critiques of the current science.

    Here is a clip from TVO:

    http://www.tvo.org/cfmx/tvoorg/theagenda/index.cfm?page_id=7&bpn=779732&ts=2010-03-09%2020:00:00.0 [tvo.org]

    Unless you think the research chair and professor in Applied Mathematics and Global Change at the University of British Columbia and the professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are also nutjobs. I am inclined to think they know a thing or two about what they are talking about. Both of them agree that the current research is over simplified, faulty assumptions, based on data used improperly. Hardly, foregone conclusion as most people who spout this rhetoric would have you believe.

    Calling people names like "deniers" only proves that you are not tolerant of other ideas, and that you only have faith in your own. That is not science.

    Myself I am not saying one way or another with any certainty what is happening. However from what I have read and what I have seen, much of the actual science seems to be flawed, and is heavily weighted on assumptions which are in turn based on assumptions, based on sketchy data, in which much of the methods used are questionable. The whole thing has become so politicized now, that there is more politics in it that any bit of science that may have been apart of it.

    The release of the emails just added to the mess, in that it showed that "scientists" (and I use that word lightly) were actively trying to prevent people from examining their data, and actively trying to prevent other people with contrary opinions to their own from publishing it in an academic journal, going so far I heard as to try and purchase the journal so they could pick and choose who got published (only the ones that back their findings).

    Anyway sketchy. I think people should be more environmentally friendly, and reduce the amount of energy we use anyway. Pollution and wanton consumption without regard is I believe is pretty irresponsible. So far as I am concerned Climate Change or not, it is something we should be doing anyway. I find most of the hype and fervor of the issue to be sensationalistic BS used for purely economical reasons. It is a complex issue that should be investigated thoroughly, and doesn't need people telling others that they are "deniers" etc... of obvious "truths". If your looking for "Truth" pick up a bible or a copy of Philosophy 101, as you won't find any "truth" in science. Science is about "facts", and reproducible experiment, or at the very very least confirmed modeling based on real life data. I have yet to see a model that hasn't failed under any kind of rigor.

    Don't even get me started on the fools who blather on about geo-engineering like they know what they are talking about. That's like a blind guy doing surgery using a chainsaw. These would probably be the same morons that 100 years ago would suggest introducing a foreign invasive species to solve some kind of pest problem, not fully understanding the consequences of their actions...

    Anyway I am ranted out...

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mindcontrolled (1388007) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:44PM (#31693092)
    Mate, the decreased oxygen content at altitude is a function of decreased density, not of changed atmospheric composition. Please, educate yourself.
  • by MechaStreisand (585905) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:44PM (#31693094)
    You asked for an example of how environmental laws can be bad for the economy and he gave you one. The holier-than-thou attitude isn't necessary, and shows that you don't get it: these laws have a cost. If laws shut down businesses that were operating fine before, that's a bad thing for the economy.
  • by insufflate10mg (1711356) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:45PM (#31693110)

    Just like that? The entire agricultural system that struggles to feed the more than 6 billion humans will just be tweaked a little bit and everything goes on just as before?

    Correct; raise the water bill a bit, add some parabolic mirrors, or make a greenhouse.

    That's cold comfort to farmers that their land is now useless for growing crops, but if they could just sell their now-worthless land and buy up some new land 200 miles to the north (that now happens to be sitting underneath suburban housing) then it's all just a wee bump in the road.

    Bulldoze the house, or go vertical.

    Heck, for that matter, we could probably just move the Earth a few thousand miles further from the Sun.

    Correct; once nightfall hits the USA, nuke China.

    So what's everybody so worked up about?

    No clue.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:46PM (#31693126)

    If only scientists and skeptics had some sort of common ground, maybe these kinds of conflicts could be avoided.

    Yeah. If only those damn scientists would address the many issues evolution skeptics rise, we could finally get rid of this darwinist conspiracy.

    Ups, wrong "skeptics". But please forgive me, for it's hard to tell them apart sometimes.

  • by e2d2 (115622) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:47PM (#31693142)

    So pointing out a flaw in software being used to model the climate is being a "denier"? Well count me in. I deny that software works properly sir because it's a fact. Reviewing with a critical eye a process that could change the world, well that is wise not foolish.

    It's "you" people that scare the shit out of me. "Consensus" has removed the ability to disagree apparently. Attacking critical thinking is not part of science. Climate science is becoming a religion and it makes me want to puke.

  • by raddan (519638) * on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:50PM (#31693172)

    But cap and trade, which is the current favored "solution", is just plain bad legislation that doesn't inspire efficiency, it just creates another market for Goldman Sachs and their ilk to game.

    I can't say that I agree with this. What Cap and Trade recognizes is that sometimes, by changing economic incentives, you can make people's self-motivated behavior actually produce the optimal (or close to optimal) solution globally. In CS, you might know the same concept by a different name ("greedy algorithm").

    What I do agree with, though, is that changing incentives has all kinds of unintended consequences. Often people can "game" the system, as you point out. You won't really know until you try, but I think to make a convincing argument against Cap and Trade, you have to show that the consequences of doing nothing are better than the consequences of Cap and Trade. Which, I should point out, you have not done here with your "just plain weak" argument.

  • Not just that... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:51PM (#31693190)

    said the lawmakers had been in a rush to publish

    No kidding. A political body doing an "investigation" like this? The phrase "the fix is in" seems to apply here - if you are honest, you have to admit the conclusion was pretty much decided before any "investigation" by the body was done, regardless of whether you trust current climate science or not.

  • by digitig (1056110) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:51PM (#31693204)

    You asked for an example of how environmental laws can be bad for the economy and he gave you one.

    No he didn't. He gave an example of how it was bad for one single business. If you want to look as the overall effect on the economy you need to consider who (if anyone) filled the gap the collapse of his business left, the overall effect of trade in freon substitutes, and so on. If you think his business is an example of "how environmental laws can be bad for the economy" then you must think that the internal combustion engine caused the total collapse of all Western economies because of the number of blasksmiths it put out of work.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:56PM (#31693276) Homepage Journal

    Truth should be easy to defend.

    Truth has never been "easy to defend" against people who are ideologically dedicated to spreading falsehoods.

    When you've got an educational system that is weak in teaching science, myths are going to win out over truth more often than not.

    Let's suppose for a second that you've got a population where 25% believe a certain political leader is the Antichrist. How likely do you think it is that those people are going to be willing to, much less able to, discern useful information from scientific data?

    If you've got 25% of the population ill-informed at one end of the political spectrum, and 25% ill-informed at the other end of the political spectrum, and everybody else in an ever-deepening fog of consumption, what are the chances that you'll have a society that's ever going to be able to address any serious issue?

  • false comparison (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:59PM (#31693322)

    The blacksmiths were not put out of work by feel-good legislation, which is what is happening now.

  • by Zondar (32904) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:07PM (#31693450)

    The very basis of our current scientific method, when you go beyond the individual scientist, is the idea of transparency and repeatability. When a scientist, no matter what field, blocks all efforts to have their data and methodology made public... when they won't disclose "internal" code used for dataset modification... they are painting themselves into a corner.

    I'm still trying to figure out how anyone can 'bless' the CRU dataset when we don't even know if all of the data has actually been made public? Couple this with yesterday's NASA revelation - that everyone is using a lot of the same underlying measurements - then it even brings into question the validity of coming to the same results.

    If you and I walk into the same room, look at the same thermometer, and we agree that it says 50 degrees F... have we really 'validated' each other's result for the temperature of the room? It's still a single measurement source at the same point in time, even if it's being viewed from two different points in space.

  • by Spykk (823586) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:14PM (#31693532)
    I wonder how you would react if the House of Commons were to say that the e-mails are undeniable proof that global warming is a scam. Would you suddenly change positions? Or would you write them off just like the people on the other side of the debate will.

    Both sides of this debate stopped caring about the facts a long time ago. Neither side will be convinced no matter what evidence is presented.
  • by chris mazuc (8017) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:16PM (#31693562)

    If laws shut down businesses that were operating fine before, that's a bad thing for the economy.

    Shutting down the slave trade was bad for the economy too. Pollution has a cost and it is much more insidious because the final costs are in no way related to the up front costs. While you are technically correct in saying that R-12 is cheaper than R-134a, that does not factor in increased treatment of skin cancer because of increased UV exposure (among other detrimental effects). I would argue that the banning of R-12 had an initial negative economic effect that does not even begin to compare to the negative economic effects of a nonfunctional ozone layer.

  • by digitig (1056110) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:26PM (#31693668)
    The blacksmiths' going out of work was not of itself "damage" to the economy, which was my point. The comparison is valid, because the point of the comparison is nothing to do with the causes of change in the business environment, it was that individual businesses, even individual economic sectors, are not the economy. You have to look at the overall picture to see whether the effect on the economy is good or bad, not just the effects on individual businesses that have not kept up with a changing market (whatever the causes of the change).
  • Re:Very Strange (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cyberax (705495) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:30PM (#31693702)

    "Methods to obtain "95% significance" out of a measly 14 observations of what could for all intents and purposes be a random walk are usually taught in politics 101."

    Methods to misrepresent research are taught in politics 101.

    We have MUCH more than 14 measurements. Each year's datapoint is an aggregation of multiple measurements.

  • by forand (530402) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:35PM (#31693750) Homepage
    So your refutation is to assert that his question can never be asked? Basically you are saying that there is no such thing as increased efficiency and that there is no such thing as pollution. Finally you don't even address the question of how this effects the economy except to make another assertion that anything attempted will down us 'in a sea of harm.' How is that a reasonable or useful response?

    I think we can all agree that people will come up with amazingly stupid ideas to solve nonexistent/pointless problems that being said people can come up with even more amazing solutions to real world problems given the resources to try. As far as I have seen the current attempts to reduce pollution have had a dramatic effect: there are far fewer instances of acid rain throughout the world than 20 years ago, building maintenance has been eased by not having to routinely clean coal dust from every nook and cranny, and rivers and streams throughout the world are providing humanity with cleaner safer drinking water and food. Do you have any instances where 'the approach taken is so stupid and expensive that any benefits are drowned in a sea of harm?' or are you just preaching to some choir that I don't hear.
  • by The Hatchet (1766306) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:44PM (#31693858)

    To be honest, the evidence for global warming is so blatantly obviously everywhere, so incredibly pervasive that it becomes hard for anyone with a scientific mind to treat those that can't see the obviousness with dislike. Just how must of us hate the flat earth society.

    I mean, just think about the oceans, and the amount of heat water can store, the amount of heat it takes to melt ice, and you realize the melting ice caps and the warming oceans are more than enough proof that global warming exists.

    Really, with that overwhelming visual evidence, it is obvious the earth is warming, regardless of surface air temperatures (which vary drastically and constantly based on local conditions). Not only that, but scientists must do exactly what evolution scientists and geologists are forced to do, and comb over every last detail with a fine tooth comb and make sure their are NO published discrepancies, because even the smallest data variation leads to thousands of crazed unscientific nut-jobs storming about how everything you have ever said is a lie and that you are a dirty fraudulent alarmist and nothing more.

    Whether or not it is caused by people? that is easy enough, just look at any city from afar, or smell the city air compared to the country air, or go within a few miles of a factory. You quickly realize that we are polluting to no end, and even if it isn't bad for the environment it is bad for us. But that is clearly at least slightly bad for the environment. Whether or not we are causing global warming is irrelevant to whether or not we should limit pollution, it is just used as a distraction and crux for major energy companies and industries that have the entire republican party and those that worship it in their pocket.

    Attacking consensus with logical and valid evidence is one thing, but to deny the blatantly obvious is what makes scientists dislike deniers. Just as they dislike evolution deniers (and we can watch evolution before our vary eyes), radio-carbon dating deniers, and so on. There was once a time when the absolutely insane were widely accepted as such, but scientific illiteracy has made this not only main-stream, but has caused a whopping 50% of people to deny well accepted science (in the case of global warming).

    As XKCD says, "A million people can call the mountains a fiction, yet it need not trouble you as you stand atop them" It troubles the lovers of science when the fate of their future is at stake over such idiocy though.

    Climate science is no more a religion than is belief in the heliocentric model of our solar system.

    Bugs in software are one thing, but it is undoubtable that our ice-caps are glacial deposits are shrinking, and that the oceans are getting warmer. No amount of bugs in software can make that false. And no number of calculation mistakes make the smog clouds above cities disappear.

    The Hatchet

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:48PM (#31693904) Homepage

    No... Informed skepticism is required in science, it is the ignorant, maligned and malicious screaming and wailing that is nutty.

    I'd throw "deliberately" in there before "ignorant", given the frequency with which I see misconceptions that they couldn't possibly still hold if they'd made even the tiniest attempt to educate themselves in the vaguest attempt to mimic the intellectual honesty they accuse scientists of not having.

    Unfortunately, the GP is right, very few AGW "skeptics" have any real idea of what the hell they're talking about.

    And the ones that do are called "climatologists" and are conducting their work right alongside all the other climatologists and are talking about the actual weaknesses of the theories and data, which unfortunately for the "skeptics" turns out to be a lot less than they'd like to think.

    It's just like with physics and the recent articles on dark matter. Loons running around going "Zomg, science is a RELIGION to these fools who don't allow anybody to doubt their obviously stupid and wrong theories!" Uh, no. There are lots of physicists working on contrary theories. But since they're actually aware of the real evidence for and against the theories, not only is their work useful, they also know that the other theories aren't obviously wrong at all.

    Basically, in both cases actual informed skeptics think the deliberately ignorant "skeptics" are idiots.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ppanon (16583) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:53PM (#31693964) Homepage Journal

    Right but there is a point at which any person just gives up on his critics.

    That's too bad. The debate about global warming isn't a bar room argument.

    Actually that's pretty well what it has devolved into on the denier side. Actually most bar-room arguments are probably better grounded in reality because they usually involve subjects in which the participants actually have some applicable experience and because the participants aren't lying their faces off due to ulterior motives (with the possible exception of relationship gossip).

    If the scientists "give up", then that means they've left the field to the opposition.

    There is no point in "debating" with someone who keeps on spouting gibberish. You waste your time and make it seem like their gibberish actually warrants being taken seriously.

  • Re:Very Strange (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @06:00PM (#31694044) Homepage Journal

    Buzz! Wrong. We calibrate models on historic data and check if their predictions match the reality.

    When I was in school about three years ago I was taught that current climate models, given any set of historic data as initial conditions, are unable to accurately match more than the next ten years of climate data. To clarify, if all of the data up to, say, 1980 was fed to any given climate model, then the data produced by the model beyond about 1990 no longer match what data was recorded for the '90's. This was hammered into myself and my peers because we were getting prepped and ready to work in the spacecraft design industry. Our job was going to be to ensure the survivability of satellites orbiting the Earth (in part). That meant we had to account for things like planet-shine and Earth albedo in our thermal control designs so that we didn't bake our electronics. That also meant that we had to have accurate models of the solar activity as well as accurate models for variances in the Earth's magnetosphere. The models that we could use, with any validity, to base our designs upon were purely historic in nature. That is, we had decades worth of recorded data and we made the assumption that any patterns and cycles that were observable were likely to repeat themselves in the short term because we had no viable means of proving otherwise (we could not predict a deviation from common cycles). The reason climate models got brought up was because Earth albedo was not accurately predicted by any existing climate models. In other words, no climate models, as of 2007, were accurate enough in their modeling of Earth's atmosphere to reflect, appropriately, how much solar radiation was reflected back into space and how much was trapped/absorbed.

    Do you see where I am going with this? In 2008, for our spacecraft design classes, where we had to present all of our design criteria and assumptions to spacecraft design industry members. We were restricted to using historic models of Earth's thermal data because no accurate model could do what you claim they can do now. That is, no model could reliably predict, past about a decade, what the hell was going to happen with Earth's thermal systems. The same, so far as we were taught, held true for all comprehensive Earth-climate computer models.

    Now, it's 2010. Please tell me, if you know, what climate models are acutely accurate beyond about a decade. Please explain to me what mathematical constructs they used to create such a model. Please explain to me where I can read a comprehensive analysis of the accuracy of said climate model beyond a decade. That is, show me a model where I can input a historical data set that terminates in 1900 and have it accurately predict, to a statistically significant degree, most of the climate happenings up through 2000. If you can point me to this data, and these models, I and many other spacecraft designers will be eternally thankful to you. You see, such models would be one significant step in designing spacecraft to survive for more than about 10 -15 years without it being a wild crap-shoot.

    If you cannot point me to said model, then please check the input signal on your buzzer, because it seems to be going off for not apparent reason.

  • Cluebat time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @06:16PM (#31694252)

    > Stop f*cking ranting and cheering for your political party, open your f*cking eyes and vote
    > for the right person for the job, not because they are wearing red or blue this week.

    Clueless twits can always be counted upon to spout this fallacy, that you should vote for the man and not the party. It is right up there with 'there is no real difference between the two parties' in being quick ways to spot someone who knows nothing of politics but has convinced themselves they not only know more but are morally superior to the people who actually invest the effort to get a clue.

    In saner times there is a measure of wisdom in your advice but most times, especially since the start of the Progressive Era, there are stark differences between the two (or more) camps. In modern times there are two great philosophies contending in the public arena.

    1. The name shifts every couple of years since the majority of Americans HATE the ideas so every time a critical mass realize the new name is just the same old dogfood the name changes again. And to be fair there are policy differences and some shades of grey. But essentially this camp is the Progressives, Fascists, Liberals, Social Democrats, Labor, Socialists, Communists, etc. They are all bound together by the common belief that the State, personified in a "Great Leader", should lead a dictatorship of the enlightened few over the clueless masses. Believes in the Rule of Men.

    2. Conservatives and Libertarians in a grand alliance against the forces of Statism. Believes in classical liberal ideas like natural law, individual rights and the Rule of Law. More bluntly, American ideas.

    These two philosophical systems are so divergent that little common ground exists for compromise. We basically have a Cold War going on with two hostile camps kept from violence only by both sides seeing the better chance at the ballot box. But this situation isn't stable, our government is growing ever more unstable and people are losing faith in it. Eventually one side must defeat the other, driving their foe from the field and (re)implementing their system of government. And since neither side is likely to simply retire from the field without a final appeal to the sword the future doesn't look good.

    So no, I won't vote for the man instead of the party. To paraphrase RAH (since I don't have the book handy) it is better to vote for a dunderhead of your own party, so long as he is subject to party displine and lacks such moral flaws as to render him a menace to society, than a genius of the party opposing. For while the dunderhead won't accomplish much even a dunderhead can represent his voters wishes. Meanwhile the genius of the party opposing is likely to accomplish much, almost none of which I will like.

  • Re:Very Strange (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NewtonTwo (767015) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @06:17PM (#31694270) Homepage

    OK, and how do we know the climate models are reliable? The answer is we don't, and if you keep digging, you will find that they aren't.

    This is the actual problem. Credibility and education is no longer honored, but tested by people like yourselves. Quite simply, the answer to your questions, is to get a degree in atmospheric sciences. Don't dig. Learn.

    At some point, it unfortunately became more desirable in our society to just repeatedly ask questions until you "stump" some authority. Somehow, this got labeled by those as being "educated" and "intelligent". The reality seems instead to be that you have no desire to understand the issue or concept, just challenge it until you can deem yourself superior.

    Do you have any honest credibility for making statements like "OK, and how do we know the climate models are reliable? The answer is we don't"?

    Are you well studied in how the microphysics of ice, rain, sleet, graupel, etc are handled in the climate models? How the terrain resolution and the corresponding land-use fields are interpolated and any potential effects of such? How about the sources of the snowpack fields and how often they're updated?

    I'm sorry, but credible scientists can not spend their time to give you a free education when you demand it.

  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @06:29PM (#31694380) Journal

    So that's your theory? A conspiracy keeping real science out of journals? Really? Do you know how science journals work? Who would be paying for this conspiracy? If this conspiracy is so powerful that it can overcome the billions of dollars that the corporate polluters have poured into climate change denial, why hasn't this conspiracy of yours just taken over the world?

    Also, which 650+ climatologists are you referring to? The ones you just invented?

  • Re:Very Strange (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Toze (1668155) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @06:38PM (#31694478)

    Boy, do I ever wish "No no, I'm a computer expert, just do what I say, I don't have time to explain it" worked on my boss. :T Alas, he requires explanations before be blows $80K on server upgrades so that I can host torrent^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H improve response on our webserver.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @06:42PM (#31694534) Journal

    Belief based on evidence is sanity. Belief based on fantasy is insanity. You ARE gambling the future of the planet on a belief, and an insane one to boot. What we propose will help the planet to continue to sustain us, at the same time it creates millions of new jobs. Your proposal is to let corporate polluters continue to put their costs onto us and future generations, your plan is to bend over further and spread wider for your corporate masters. Excuse me if I don't think that's a very good idea.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @06:44PM (#31694546)

    To me the strong proponents of AWG seem more like religious nuts than those against it. It seems to have become their religion. What I mean is that they do not tolerate dissent, you are expected to believe everything they say AND all the policy they claim needs to be done because of that. Questioning, dissent, isn't tolerated. You are shouted down, called names, etc. It is their way or no way.

    To me, that seems very much like a hardcore religion, not how science is done.

    Now that isn't to say there aren't nuts on the other side. However to me it seems the far higher number of nuts are on the AGW side and they act far more zealous because it has become their religion.

    In particular I notice this in the demonization of the people who believe AGW is real, but dismiss the policies they propose. They aren't disagreeing with the premise of human caused warming, they are just saying that the proposed solutions either won't work, or are not worth the cost. For this they are hated even more than those that simply reject the theory overall.

    That does not to me look like a view informed by rational thought, it looks like a religious dogma, where all must be taken as truth or you are branded a heretic.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @06:48PM (#31694614)

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/03/31/tricking-the-committee/

    McIntyre is the only voice of reason as per usual

  • by Rising Ape (1620461) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @06:58PM (#31694744)

    That's a pretty pathetic excuse for not releasing that information. Suppose I repeat the experiment, given your description and come up with a different outcome. Then it's not reproducible. But we don't know why it's not reproducible. It could be a mistake on either of our parts.

    Indeed, or perhaps both. Both parties should check their results again. Maybe a mistake will be discovered. If not, some discussion between parties would be useful, and perhaps an exchange of data may be a part of this - but probably not the first part. Ultimately though, this would be for debugging - after the mistake has been discovered, you should go back to working with your own independent data sets. If you need the same data set, you haven't really reproduced the result.

    However, the people demanding the data are notable for having not done this - they have no analyses of their own in the first place. They're typically not competent to do so, so they stick to trying (and failing, usually) to poke holes in other people's work.

  • by qmaqdk (522323) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @07:05PM (#31694810)

    I have a few questions.

    1) Are you a very good programmer; and a good statistician?

    2) Are you a climate researcher?

    3) Did the reviewers, who reviewed said work, make errors?

    4) If yes to all of the above, why haven't you published an article describing said errors?

  • by Rising Ape (1620461) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @07:14PM (#31694902)

    1) Increase government power.

    To do something they don't really want to do? Look at the outcome of talks like Copenhagen - pretty much nothing. Hard to believe that there'd be a grand international conspiracy orchestrated by the world's governments, who then don't take advantages of opportunities to implement their devious plans.

    2) Serve the interests of environmentalism and related ideologies.

    On the list of things your average politician is interest in, "appeasing environmentalists" is pretty damn far down. Certainly below "appeasing industry", and definitely below getting votes - and there aren't many votes in telling people they can't do things, or in making things more expensive.

  • by jjohnson (62583) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @07:19PM (#31694950) Homepage

    As Dubya showed, you don't need climate science to increase government power, you just sign an executive order or issue a signing statement. Really, this is "FEMA is responsible for the black helicopters" territory. And when has anyone in government power actually tried to a serve the interests of environmentalists and related ideologies?

  • by tabdelgawad (590061) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @07:20PM (#31694974) Homepage

    Great, except that you need to classify carbon as "pollution" for your argument to make sense. And carbon is "pollution" only if it significantly contributes to global warming, so your argument has to assume its conclusion!

    Limiting carbon emissions is expensive - that's why there is a legitimate argument about how much human contribution to emissions matters and whether incurring those costs now is the best way to respond to the risks of global warming in the future.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @08:35PM (#31695828)

    if you are honest, you have to admit your conclusion was pretty much decided before any "investigation" by the body was done,

    There, fixed that for you.

    Just because an investigation disagrees with your bias does not make the results null and void. In Westminsterian governments (Australia, UK, Canada) whilst political bodies (the parliament, senate or House of Commons) can order investigations they do not conduct them, the investigation is handed over to actual investigators like judges, lawyers and police (oh crap, these are government employee's too, thankfully I'm not a paranoid nutbag). Pollies have to accept the outcome of the investigation, not change them to whatever is more politically convenient, this may be a strange phenomena to you but it's quite a good thing(TM).

    If you bothered to read any information on the story you would have found out whilst no foul play was found, the commission slammed Jones and the University for it's hap hazard approach.

  • by Capsaicin (412918) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @09:47PM (#31696332)

    In other words, the foregone conclusion they were ordered to come up with

    Can you please produce the secret memo that demonstrates they were ordered to reach a certain conclusion?

    "nothing to see here, move along folks" clashes with reality.

    In the denialsphere reality clashes with you! You are right to an extent. The result was a "foregone conclusion." But only because it was clear to any reasonable person reading the emails, who was not already working on the assumption of fraud, that they disclosed no evidence of misconduct. The published emails were a small selection of all those stolen and the best they could come up with was nothing much at all.

    Of course if you are predisposed to believe that science is a vast elitist conspiracy, words like "trick" and phrases such as "hide the decline" are guaranteed to feed your viewpoint. But that is not "reality."

  • by Xyrus (755017) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @09:53PM (#31696360) Journal

    Who gets to estimate the climate of these times?

    People who study historical records, geological strata, human migratorial patterns, etc. . You know. Scientists.

    The same people who have a) think climate change is extremely important threat to humanity now to the point that some of them have worked out ways to obstruct skeptical inquiry

    Logical fallacy. Try again.

    , b) receive considerable funds...

    Considerable? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    The entire budget for publicly funded climate research for the US is $2 billion, and the majority of that is being used to put up new weather satellites that can ALSO be used for climate research.

    The average salary of an established climate researcher is about $75K.

    Only a complete idiot believes that climate researchers are doing this for the money. You don't get rich being a climate researcher.

    from government agencies that would benefit bureaucratically from exaggerating the threat of climate change, and

    As opposed to say, an endless war on terror? Or a pre-emptive war in Iraq?

    Listen buddy, I'm not sure what kind of glasses you have but you really need to take them off and look around. Climate science is dirt fucking cheap compared to almost every other venue in the federal budget.

    c)thus have incentive to downplay past instances of climate change in order to exaggerate the current risk from human activities.

    You've followed logical fallacy with logically fallacy and have come to a conclusion that is...well...a fallacy.

    You may well be right. But it's worth noting that the small climate shifts weren't small to the regions effected. That may well mean they weren't small at all.

    Some climate changes were local. Others were short lived. In either case, societies develop to live within their particular part of the ecosystem. If mother nature throws a fit that civilization suffered the consequences.

    You seem very assured that our technological advances can handle anything mother nature can throw at us. That's pretty arrogant. While only the raving lunatics cry that climate change will end the world (it won't) we are not so technologically advance that we don't still rely heavily on mother nature. A ten year drought in the midwest, for example, would bring a world of hurt to the US.

    Sure you can. And it's not a whim unless you think feeding people is a whim. And you have yet to explain why farming can't move north. The "narrow range" isn't that narrow.

    Oh farming could move north. What I was pointing out is you don't up and move the agricultural center that feeds 300 million people in a year. To do so would take a considerable amount of effort, time and resources. In the meantime, you would also need interim contingency plans to handle what happens when a loaf of bread suddenly costs $10 or $20.

    Don't get me wrong. I don't believe climate change is going to end the world. But it will have it's impacts and some of them may end up being pretty bad. We'll adapt of course, but there will be a cost and it won't be cheap.

    ~X~

  • by raddan (519638) * on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @10:23PM (#31696524)

    Cap and Trade itself is not an "incentive" program, it's a punishment program.

    Avoiding punishment is an incentive. You don't entice your son to stop hitting his sister with candy, do you?

    It doesn't even reduce pollution, since business can just buy their way out of that by planting a forest in South America.

    Cap and trade, done right (I'm not saying that the existing bill is "right"... but you do need to start somewhere), puts a cap on pollution globally, which is really where the problem matters, and it addresses scenarios like when you put a restriction on a factory, and they just move it out of the country to where there are no restrictions. All you did was create an incentive for people to move jobs out of the country. Pollution is decreased, but not necessarily locally.

    The key thing here is that if you only offer positive incentives, many people will continue doing business as usual, because they won't see the effort as worth the cost of changing. That's a problem because business as usual is how we got in the mess in the first place. You need to make people change their behavior if a change in behavior is what you want.

  • by npsimons (32752) * on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @10:30PM (#31696578) Homepage Journal

    rather than use the statistical manipulation suite "R" instead used Fortran,

    This right there tells me I don't need to read the rest of your post to know you aren't any more familiar with scientific computing or statistics than Michael Mann is. Did it ever occur to you that Mann probably learned FORTRAN near the beginning of his career and has been using it ever since because it's good enough? Or how about that a large majority of statistics and scientific code has been tested, tuned and optimized for decades in FORTRAN? Not to bash R, but it wasn't around back then. Shit, son, he's probably a better FORTRAN programmer than you are an "R" programmer; he's been doing it for decades. On top of that, Michael Mann is a climatologist who has been studying this stuff for decades. His code may not be written in "the one true statistics language", but I can tell you from direct experience that FORTRAN is still running a lot of DoD systems TODAY. And given the choice of who to believe about climatology (a climatologist who can't write readable code, or a first rate hacker who has dabbled in climatology), I'll take the climatologist. Even if you discount Mann, there are plenty of other well researched, well studied experts in this field whose data match up with Mann's.

    All that aside, do you have any evidence to support your position? Where's your study, your analysis? You have one link in your whole post, to someone else's book, and judging from the title, I'm a bit skeptical of you or the authors lack of bias.

    If you think no one here has looked at the emails, and soundly refuted all the conspiracy theories about them, you obviously haven't been paying attention. BTW, love your homepage; had it long?

  • Re:Cluebat time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Thursday April 01, 2010 @12:34AM (#31697370)

    > You couldn't be further from the truth with your simplistic lumping everybody into two groups, and your assertion that one is good and the other is evil.

    I didn't assign good/evil labels. For the simple reason that they are relative. If you believe in the redistribution of wealth, and all the other Socialist dogma then you believe your side to be "Good" and the horrible reactionary nutters in the other camp believing in individual liberty even when it interferes with the needs of the State, clinging to their bibles and guns and such, well they must be "Evil". While for those who do believe that individual liberty and the rule of law even when it does interfere with the wheels of progress, Socialism is hopelessly wicked. My point was that with such divergent world views compromise isn't a reasonable expectation anymore and sooner or later things are going to get ugly.

    > I can't believe you can equate social democrats, communists and fascists as one and the same.

    They are in the sense they are all heading to the "sunny uplands of history" and all pretty much agree what they expect[1] to find there. They mostly differ in tactics as to how to get there. Social Democrats aren't in a particular hurry to get there and in fact the current examples are still early enough in their 'progress' that they lack a dictator. Progressives want to 'evolve' society into utopia while Communists want a revolution. Fascists are nationalists as compared to traditional Marxist Communists being internationalists but otherwise differ little in basic philosophy. When a group of them actually gain sufficient power there will be local differences mostly depending on the particular mental abberations of the individual monster who manages to get the top spot in the new pecking order.

    [1] If history is any guide only mass graves lie on their path, but I'm just a reactionary nutter so what do I know.

  • by sumdumass (711423) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @12:38AM (#31697390) Journal

    There is a real scientific problem with your skeptics dismissal.

    The properties of Co2 are not in question here and never were. The question is whether or not the change in the amounts of Co2 is large enough on scale to have the claimed effect outside of other observations because the raw physics equation doesn't side with observations. Co2 is a very small part of the atmosphere and the amount that is supposed to be a problem something like .0005 of the total atmosphere. And to add to that, there are plenty of other green house gases that display properties similar to Co2 in much larger quantities which are more effected by natural events then man made events. There are many outside factors that contribute to the problem like submarine volcanic activities, shifts in oceanic currents along with the decadal oscillation events responsible for El Mino and so on. That's why there is a complex climate model and not a climate math problem that any high school child could figure out.

    I mean seriously, if it was as simply as Co2 has X heat retention value when exposed to Y amounts of heat then the entire proof would be X+1*y. And for every one in addition to X, simply measure the temp and see if it's accurate. Well, it's not that simple and to date, no attempts to make it that simple have been accurate.

    What you are doing is essentially saying Wool is warm, I see ten sheep with wool, I am going to be warm and criticizing anyone who doubts you. Your league of followers may believe that you will eventually shear the sheep and make fabric from the wool that you will eventually make into some warm clothing and wear, but I don't have to believe you will, the guy you responded doesn't have top believe you will, actually, no one who can critically think should believe you will until we see you wearing the wool sweater and socks. SO if Co2 is actually the problem, more specifically, man made Co2, then show us the damn wool socks and sweater already. Don't sit there and cry because the properties of Co2 are such or that someone questions the claim. `All that does is show how little about the situation you actually do know. And when I say situation, I mean both global warming as well as the skeptics.

  • by chrb (1083577) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @10:26AM (#31700200)

    Limiting carbon emissions is expensive - that's why there is a legitimate argument about how much human contribution to emissions matters

    "It would be expensive" is not a valid argument against a scientific theory.

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